How Online Reviews Affect Local SEO

By Expert commentator

Search Marketers Are Embracing Online Reviews

Evidence of the growing importance of online review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook is hard to ignore.

According to research by ReviewTrackers, 49 percent of consumers always or often check online reviews, and Search Engine Land reports that 72 percent trust reviews as much as they do recommendations from friends and family.

Reviews have also shaped search algorithms. And with Google explicitly indicating that reviews play a role in one of its three primary local search factors, an increasing number of marketers and local SEO professionals have been crafting strategic approaches to reviews in hopes of improving local SEO performance.

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Online reviews make up 13 percent of what gets you in the local pack

One of the most prominent and therefore sought-after places in Google’s local search results is the “local pack”: a set of three highlighted Maps-based results (it used to have seven) featuring the most highly ranked businesses based on the factors that determine local ranking.

In the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors report by SEO company Moz, review signals — i.e., the quantity, frequency, and diversity of your reviews — are considered one of the top 5 factors that determine whether or not your business gets listed in the local pack.

Google My Business signals (19%), link signals (17%), and on-Page signals (14%), review signals (13%) outrank behavioral signals, personalization, and social signals when it comes to local pack ranking factors.

Reviews are one of the top 7 factors determining organic local search rankings

Online reviews are factored into organic local search rankings, too. According to Moz’s report, review signals make up approximately 7 …read more

Read more here:: smartinsights

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